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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        25  May 2011

Thailand expands gas-fired plants

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The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) is spending 66 billion baht to build three 800-megawatt gas-fired power plants to increase its generating capacity.

Deputy governor Somboon Arayaskul said the state utility would build the plants on the premises of its existing power plants at Chana in Songkhla province, Wang Noi in Ayutthaya, and North Bangkok in Nonthaburi province.

The new plants in Chana and Wang Noi are already under construction and will be completed in the first quarter of 2014, while the one in North Bangkok is awaiting an environmental and health impact assessment report with construction to start next year and operations to begin in 2015.

In light of health concerns and protests, the Energy Ministry has put off the plans for nine coal-fired power plants to 2019 from 2014 planned earlier. It also postponed plans for five nuclear power plants by three years to 2023 at the earliest in the wake of the recent nuclear accidents in Japan.

The country's current 20-year power development plan calls for five nuclear plants with a combined generating capacity of 5,000 MW out of the 30,000-MW total estimated to meet the demand in 2030.

The first two plants were scheduled to start operating in 2020 and 2021, but the recent events in Japan and concerns about a general lack of preparedness have prompted authorities to rethink nuclear development.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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